Florida-Venezuela: Unmasked fanatics

The Florida governor, Rick Scott, confirmed that the US does have close links with Venezuela’s extreme right.

A well-known secret has come out to light with the fierce support of multimillionaire Scott to “violent citizens” of the aforementioned country.

Johanna A. Alvarez, journalist from El Nuevo Herald, reported that he is going to attend a rally in Miami to “demand the freeing of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.”

Just over three years ago, Lopez led violent actions that caused deaths, injured people, and several material damages.

The new show is now labeled Freedom Rally and, intriguingly, it was convened at a local restaurant from the city of Doral.

According to what is announced, Scott would grant his recognition to Carlos Vecchio, coordinator in the so-called Partido Voluntad Popular (Party of People’s Will), who will receive it on behalf of Lopez.

El Nuevo Herald reported that talking about Venezuela’s situation is not new for the Florida governor, especially in Leopoldo Lopez’s case.

In late March, he had written that Venezuela was forced to release him, but he did not mention any of his crimes.

Recently, El Herald and other extreme-right media published:

During the rally in Miami, Governor Scott will grant the Freedom Award 2017 to Leopoldo Lopez, who has been world news due to “his unknown health status.”

Later, it was spread the news Lopez was very sick in jail, but it was immediately refuted by a video.

The video showed Lopez was very healthy and he claimed not to understand why he must give proof of life at that time.”

His wife, Lilian Tintori, and his mother Antonieta Mendoza, saw him on Sunday and talked to him during a familiar visit.

El Herald recalled he was sentenced to almost 14 years in 2014 for inciting to violence during the extreme-right riots that year.

It was now reported that Governor Rick Scott would lead a rally supporting Venezuelan opposition leader and those who protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

Florida’s newspaper Orlando Sentinel helped to detail better the fierce enemy of Venezuela.

The newspaper published that on December 23rd, 2014, Spanish news agency EFE revealed that Scott invested around 70 millions USD by the end of his electoral campaign in 2010.

He was, by then, backed by the Neo-Nazi party Tea Party.

It is very intriguing that EFE did not notice such fact.

It all happens when Washington is releasing the allocation of some millions USD for its sacred “Venezuelan opposition.”

So predators from the Oval Office in the White House hide their masks and decided to react without traces of morality.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / Cubasi Translation Staff

Protesters Attempt to Block First of Trump's Deportations

"We’re living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants," said Guadalupe Garcia De Rayos' lawyer after her arrest Wednesday.

On Wednesday night dozens of migrant justice activists and family members surrounded an Immigration and Customs Enforcement truck in Phoenix, Arizona, in an attempt to block the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, thought to be one of the first people to be removed under president Trump's new executive order targeting undocumented migrants.

RELATED: Trump May Target Legally-Residing Immigrants on Welfare

Garcia de Rayos, who came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 14, had reported to the ICE office in Phoenix, Arizona, earlier in the day as part of her routine six-month check-in after having been caught up in one of the many workplace raids conducted in 2008 by the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

But unlike in all the previous interviews over the past nine years, Garcia de Rayos, 35, was arrested and ICE agents who promptly began the process of deporting her to Mexico, where she has not been since leaving 21 years ago.

By evening, dozens of local migrant justice activists and family members had gathered at the ICE building and as a truck carrying Garcia de Rayos and several others emerged, they quickly surrounded it, with one man, Manuel Saldana, tying himself to a wheel of the truck vowing to "stay here as long as it takes."

Man has inserted his arms, leg and body into wheel well of one van that prevent it from leaving.. is inside.

"We're tired of folks like Trump coming in and thinking they're going to be able to destroy communities," another protester told the New York Times.

After a tense standoff, broadcast live on Facebook, dozens of heavily armed ICE agents and local police officers arrested six people blocking the van, including Saldana, with the vehicle quickly speeding off under police escort.

More people surrounding van holding --- quick explainer

Reaction to the arrest was swift, and as it began to trend on Twitter other protesters took to different parts of downtown Phoenix to block traffic.

@SantistevanRyan Phoenix resident Hilda Canales stood in front of the light rail with others to protest deportation. @cronkitenews

By midnight Wednesday, it wasn't clear if Garcia de Rayos had been taken to the border or to immigration detention.

The migrant justice group Puente Arizona, with whom Garcia de Rayos had been active, said they have filed a stay-of-removal request and are expecting a judge’s decision sometime on Thursday.

The group is challenging the deportation based on the fact that Garcia de Rayos' original 2008 arrest took place during one of a series of raids by notorious Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio which were later declared racially motivated and unconstitutional.

Garcia de Rayos was convicted and jailed in 2009 for six months on felony impersonation charges for using a fake social security number at her workplace, a local water park.

After a multi-year battle by local migrant justice activists, a 2013 deportation order against Garcia de Rayos was stayed given then-President Obama’s policy of only deporting undocumented migrants who posed "a threat to public safety."

Wednesday's arrest is seen as one of the first to be executed under President Trump's new executive order targeting all undocumented migrants with a criminal conviction, regardless of the severity of the charges.

"We’re living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants," Rayos’ lawyer, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, told the New York Times.

Garcia de Rayos’ arrest also highlights the arbitrary powers Trump’s executive order gives immigration officers — whose union was a prominent endorser of Trump during his viciously anti-migrant election campaign — who now have wide discretion to determine who qualifies for deportation under the new regime.

Trump "has permitted these (immigration) agents to go after immigrants regardless of their ties and contributions to the U.S.," said ACLU lawyer Cecillia Wang in an interview with the New York Times.

Garcia de Rayos, who is married to a fellow undocumented migrant, has two U.S. citizen children who were both present at the protest.

This is & her family. Both of her kids were born in the US. She has lived here for 22 years.

"It's not fair that my mom might be taken away for providing for my family. working should not be a crime. I'm asked if I'm am ready to have my mom taken away. I'm not scared of (Trump) I'm going to keep fighting to have justice and my mom back," said Garcia de Rayos’ 14-year-old daughter Jacqueline.

Garcia de Rayos elder son, Angel, told the New York Times, about the night of her 2008 arrest.

"I was in second grade. I will never forget that night. And I’ve lived in fear of losing my mother every night since then," he said.

Garcia de Rayos' arrest comes just days after a second Trump cabinet appointee admitted to employing an undocumented migrant.

On Monday Trump's pick for labor secretary, billionaire fast-food magnate Andrew Puzder, revealed that he had employed a housekeeper for years who did not have legal status to work in the U.S.

Last month Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for commerce secretary, also admitted that he had employed someone for years who had not provided proof of legal work status.

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Russia Calls on the USA to Avoid Aerial Ban Areas in Syria

Moscow, Jan 26 (Prensa Latina) Russia today called on the United States to weigh the possible consequences of the creation of aerial ban areas in Syria, especially for the lives of refugees.

'It is a matter of utmost importance to avoid a worsening of the refugee situation,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said while commenting on a decision by US President Donald Trump.

The new US head of state signed yesterday another controversial provision, this time for the Pentagon to present within 90 days a plan to create the so-called humanitarian security areas.

Peskov acknowledged that Washington never consulted Moscow about that measure, even though Russian combat aviation has been operating in Syrian airspace since late 2015.

Trump considered the day before that Europe made a huge mistake in allowing the entry of thousands of refugees to Germany and other nations of that region and affirmed that he did not want that for the United States.

More than five million Syrians were displaced from their homes because of a conflict that in barely six years left more than 200 000 dead people, many of them civilians.

Damascus accuses Washington of artificially promoting chaos and destabilization in the Levantine country that led to an armed confrontation in which violent groups received material and financial aid from abroad.

Press media here recall the disastrous experience of creating flight ban areas in Libya when North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aviation bombarded that country from March to October 2011.

The country suffered hundreds of civilian's fatalities because of NATO attacks, which interpreted a UN Security Council resolution to protect the Libyan population according to its whim.

Moscow repeatedly called on the West to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians, especially after the liberation of the eastern part of Aleppo last December.

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As Trump stresses 'America First', China plays the world leader

China is calmly mapping out global leadership aspirations from trade to climate change, drawing distinctions between President Xi Jinping's steady hand and new U.S. President Donald Trump, whose first days have been marked by media feuds and protests.

Just days ahead of Trump taking office, a self-assured Xi was in Switzerland as the keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, offering a vigorous defense of globalization and signaling Beijing's desire to play a bigger role on the world stage.

Even on the thorny issue of the South China Sea, Beijing did not rise to the bait of White House remarks this week about "defending international territories" in the disputed waterway. Instead, China stressed its desire for peace and issued a restrained call for Washington to watch what it says.

"You have your 'America first', we have our 'community of common destiny for mankind'," Retired Major-General Luo Yuan, a widely read Chinese military figure best known for his normally hawkish tone, wrote on his blog this week.

"You have a 'closed country', we have 'one belt, one road'," he added, referring to China's multi-billion dollar new Silk Road trade and investment program.

And while China has repeatedly said it does not want the traditional U.S. role of world leadership, a senior Chinese diplomat accepted this week it could be forced upon China.

"If anyone were to say China is playing a leadership role in the world I would say it's not China rushing to the front but rather the front runners have stepped back leaving the place to China," said Zhang Jun, director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's international economics department.

STEPPING UP

That message was reinforced this week when Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, distancing America from its Asian allies. Several remaining TPP members said they would now look to include China in a revised pact, or pursue Beijing's alternative free trade agreements.

"At many important multilateral forums, China's leader has put forward Chinese proposals, adding positive impetus to world development," Su Xiaohui a senior researcher at the Foreign Ministry-backed China Institute of International Studies, wrote of the U.S. TPP decision in the overseas edition of the People's Daily.

"In the economic integration process of the Asia Pacific, compared to certain countries who constantly bear in mind their leadership role, what China pays even more attention to is 'responsibility' and 'stepping up'," Su said.

China's hosting of an international conference on its "One Belt, One Road" initiative in May is one opportunity for Beijing to showcase its leadership of global infrastructure and investment.

A diplomatic source familiar with preparations said China was likely to hold it at the same glitzy convention center used to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2014, setting the stage for Xi's most high profile diplomatic event of the year.

"China's pretty much inviting everyone," the diplomat said.

Another area where China is keen to be seen as leading the way is climate change. Trump has in the past dismissed climate change as a "hoax" and vowed during his presidential campaign to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Li Junhua, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations and Conferences, said world was worried about climate change and whether countries would honor their Paris commitments.

"As far as China is concerned, my president has made it extremely clear, crystal clear, China will do its part," Li told reporters.

LEARNING PROCESS

It's not always been this way. China has been through a long, tough learning process to become a more responsible power.

In 2013, China, angered with Manila over the long dispute on the South China Sea, only stumped up meager aid to the Philippines after it was hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, prompting rare dissent in the influential Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times that Beijing's international image would be hit.

It also will not be plain sailing. On certain key core issues including the self-ruled island of Taiwan, China will not back down.

In its first official reaction to Trump taking office, China's Foreign Minister urged his administration to fully understand the importance of the "one China" principle, which Trump has called into doubt and under which Washington acknowledges China's position of sovereignty over Taiwan.

China also expects that under the Trump administration it will be left alone on one issue that has long dogged ties with Washington - human rights.

The WeChat account of the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily noted with approval on Saturday that Trump's inaugural speech neither mentioned the words "democracy" nor "human rights".

"Perhaps looking back, these things have been hyped up too much" by U.S. politicians, it added.

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Kerry’s Mid-East speech will ‘ensure chaos lasts after Obama admin’ – Israeli minister

The outgoing US secretary of state is to remark on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday. Israel’s security minister called the intention “pathetic” and accused John Kerry of “trying to make chaos” that will last past his tenure.

The US State Department announced on Tuesday night that Kerry will deliver remarks on the state of the Middle East peace process and why America abstained during a UN Security Council vote on a resolution criticizing Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Delivered less than a month before President Barack Obama steps down, the speech is expected to be the last work from his administration on the decades-old conflict. After Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2003, he made Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority and pushed for direct negotiations. However, they didn’t last the nine months they were expected to, collapsing in April 2014 without any tangible result. In June of that year, Israel launched a 50-day military campaign in Gaza.

Commenting on the upcoming speech, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said it was “pathetic to present a [peace] plan at the last minute when [Kerry] hasn't managed in changing anything for his entire time in office.”

“It's unfortunate that the Obama Administration, that erred for years in the Middle East, is trying to make sure that the chaos will last far past its tenure,” Erdan said late on Tuesday night, as cited by the Jerusalem Post.

“Kerry's speech on parameters right before the end of his tenure will make sure that the Palestinians won't agree to any sort of negotiations [with Israel] in the coming years and will [put] off chances of advancing peace.”

The spat comes days after the US abstained at a UN Security Council vote, allowing other members pass a resolution criticizing Israel for the continued construction of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Washington’s failure to veto the draft, as it routinely did with other UNSC votes targeting Israel over the decades, angered the Israeli government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Obama administration of orchestrating the passage of the damning resolution.

The US denied the accusation, saying there was “nothing pre-cooked” about it.

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Jill Stein Raises $2.5 Million to File for Election Recounts

Stein wants recounts in three of the key states that unexpectedly went for Trump: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Jill Stein is set to file for an election recount in key battleground states after raising the required US$2.5 million on Thursday. This comes as a group of data experts and lawyers have asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to push for a recount in three pivotal swing states to ensure that the result was not influenced by unreliable voting methods and cyber-hacking.

OPINION: Was the US Election Stolen ...Yet Again?

In less than a day, the former Green Party presidential nominee was able to raise the required funds through a crowdfunding campaign, which as of Thursday morning had amassed US$2.7 million of the US$4.5 million goal. Stein wants to recount three key swing states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

With the money raised so far, Wisconsin is the first proposed recount, while the others would require fulfilling her funding goal. The money is set to cover the costly legal fees for the recount challenges.

For recounts in Pennsylvania, the crowdfunding will require $US5 million by Nov. 28 and for Michigan, $US6 million by Nov. 30

While a recount would significantly help defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Stein said the recount is “not intended to help Hillary Clinton,” but rather to ensure the integrity of the U.S. electoral system. “We deserve elections we can trust,” said Stein.

Stein and the Green Party say that the election result must be fully certified after a number of allegations of voter results being affected by hacks. “Reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts were causing many to wonder if our election results are reliable," Stein said in a statement on Wednesday.

RELATED: California Independence Movement Formally Launches #Calexit​

Amid mounting allegations of voting manipulation and inaccuracies – particularly over paperless voting machines – a group of experts, including data scientists and election lawyers, have also asked Clinton’s campaign to request recounts in the same states.

The group says there are a number of suspicious trends between areas that used electronic paperless voting machines compared with other areas that used optical scanning machines and traditional paper ballots.

Clinton appears to have performed worse against Trump in areas that relied on electronic voting, according to the group. In Wisconsin, for example, the group says that Clinton may have lost as many 30,000 votes and won seven percent fewer votes in areas that relied on electronic voting.

While computer scientist Alex Halderman believes that a cyber-attack was unlikely, “The only way to know whether a cyber-attack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence – paper ballots and voting equipment,” he told Medium.

Halderman went on to say that the reason why Trump gained a shocking victory over Clinton was that the polls before election day – the majority of which predicted a Clinton win – “were systematically wrong.”

While Clinton won the popular vote over Trump by around 2 million votes, Trump came to power by securing 290 electoral college votes to Clinton's 232.

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Democratic Party Should Be Embarrassed, Says Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator had some harsh criticism for the Democratic Party establishment in the aftermath of Trump's election victory.
 
The Democratic Party has abandoned workers and that is why Hillary Clinton lost the election, Senator Bernie Sanders said Thursday.

“It is an embarrassment, I think, to the entire Democratic Party that millions of white working-class people decided to vote for Mr. Trump,” Senator Bernie Sanders told the Associated Press on Thursday.

RELATED: Leaked Documents: Democratic Party Favored Clinton from Start

Analysis of the election results increasingly suggests that Donald Trump's victory was less due to an upsurge in support for the Republican Party and their candidate, and more to a lack of enthusiasm among formerly Democratic voters. While Trump received almost the same amount of total votes as the 2013 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Democratic support fell by over 6 million votes between 2012 and 2016.

“You cannot be a party which on one hand says we’re in favor of working people, we’re in favor of the needs of young people but we don’t quite have the courage to take on Wall Street and the billionaire class,” Sanders wrote in a separate statement released Thursday. “People do not believe that. You’ve got to decide which side you’re on.”

Sanders' statement to the Associate Press came a day after he promised to “vigorously” oppose the president-elect’s racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies.

Many have speculated that had Sanders' primary run not been sabotaged by the Democratic Party leadership he likely would have beaten Trump in a general election marked by strong anti-establishment sentiment.

Sanders, who is expected to play a crucial role in leading the opposition to Trump in the Senate, said that he will support Rep. Keith Ellison, the only Muslim member of Congress who is from Minnesota, to become the next chair of the Democratic Party.

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Sanders will try to Prevent Clinton from Committing to Republicans

Washington, Oct 26 (Prensa Latina) Senator Bernie Sanders will try to prevent Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton from committing to the Republican Party if she is elected President of the United States, he said in an interview published in The Washington Post.

It would not be good for anybody if since the first day we have to commit with them only because they control the House of Representatives, said the legislator for Vermont.

According to Sanders, before starting to reach agreements of that kind, the Blue Party should unite the people of the U.S. around its ideas and leave clear that if Republicans do not agree with measures in favor of the middle and working classes, they will pay a high political price.

The ex-Democrat precandidate to the Presidency considered that if Clinton wins elections next November 8, she will face not only the opposition of the Red Party, but also of liberal democrats who are not excited by her campaign and fear a centrist government.

During the Democrat primaries Sanders represented a great pressure for the former Secretary of State, when winning 43 percent of the votes, before announcing his support to Clinton last July.

The strong position that gave him that result has allowed him to influence in the orientation of his party's platform and, as he expressed in the interview, his work will be to demand that his party implements such a platform.

We won 22 states and 46 percent of the committed delegates, 13.4 million votes and the majority of young persons, the future of the nation, which gives me a high influence which I have every intention of using, he assured.

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